Friday, December 6, 2013
Terry Francona walked into the Fenway interview room, searching the small gathering of reporters.
"I was looking for Millar," Francona said.
Kevin Millar the former Red Sox (and Sea Dogs) first baseman, was ducking behind a row of reporters. Francona finally spotted him.
"(Big rear end), you can't hide," Francona said amid the laughs. "The media just got worse."
Millar will be doing occasional commentary for NESN.
The first question for Francona concerned Jacoby Ellsbury and his sore ribs, which has him out of the lineup again.
"He's been examined. We've looked at the pictures. All the medical people are trying to look at everything. He's really tender. Dr. Gill will be here (to meet with Ellsbury again) ... We got to get to the bottom of this. We don't want to rush, putting him on the DL. At the same time, he's not ready to play because of the way he feels.
"Whether we have to get more opinions, we'll do whatever we think is necessary."
Concerning catcher Victor Martinez, who still has a sizable bump next to his left big toe, Francona said, "he did a lot (Wednesday). He did some throwing. Did some receiving. The hope is he'll run around the outfield a little bit. We would really like to catch him (Friday) because of Wake ... I think he'll be ready to catch."
Tim Wakefield is starting Friday. If Martinez is not ready, they might summon Dusty Brown for a "spot start" at catcher. He can catch a knuckler. Jason Varitek struggles with that ... but we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Outfielder Mike Cameron "is not ready to play everyday," Francona said. "He's a little sore today. We knew we'd have to build in some rest for him."
Apparently Darnell McDonald has not impressed with his center field play, so much so that Bill Hall is considered a better option.
Francona said Josh Beckett is scheduled to throw a side session on Friday.
A reporter asked Francona about umpire Joe West and his "short fuse." Francona wasn't going near it. "I think you better go ask Ozzie (Guillen, the White Sox manager who was ejected from a game Wednesday by West)."
Jed Lowrie is at Fenway, just getting checked out as he recovers from mononucleosis. There is no timetable on his return. I joked about a rehab at Hadlock. He shrugged, saying, "who knows."
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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